Facebook vs. Paper-and-Pencil Writing: Comparing Japanese EFL Students’ Opinions of the Writing Mediums

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Gilbert Dizon, Himeji Dokkyo University

Although current literature indicates that L2 students have mostly favorable attitudes towards Facebook, no study has incorporated a control group to examine learners’ views of the social-networking service (SNS). Thus, it is unknown if L2 students view the SNS more positively than other writing mediums. This study seeks to fill this gap by analyzing the views of Japanese university EFL students. The learners were divided into two groups: one which used Facebook for writing tasks (n = 16) and another which used paper-and-pencil (n = 14). A nine-item Likert-scale questionnaire was administered to assess the students’ opinions towards the writing mediums. The results revealed that the Facebook group had more favorable opinions towards eight of the survey statements. Interestingly, however, the learners in the paper-and-pencil group preferred their writing medium to a greater degree. These findings highlight the mixed opinions L2 students can have towards Facebook despite its perceived benefits.